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The best keyboard for touch typing

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December 18, 2007 12:32:46 PM

I've been typing my own style for a very long time, but I often mess up and I have great difficulty achieving accuracy. So I've slowly begun to learn how to type with QWERTY (Yes I know all about Dvorak, what matters is the keyboard). I need the hands down top 2 choices for wired keyboards, I prefer to purchase from newegg but anywhere is fine. I prefer if the keyboard did not include a mouse because that would just raise the price. I've looked at a bunch of ergonomic keyboards and standard keyboards and they all have mixed reviews, I just need a straight forward solid "GET THIS KEYBOARD FOR TYPING/GAMING MAN" kind of thing. I need to be able to game occasionally but my main focus will be typing for my new job in the computer field. Games include FPS and WoW usually, so I need to be able to feel comfortable with it in games.

My budget for a keyboard is a maximum of $75. I don't want to go overkill on the keyboard, I've read about a certain brand that sells for 300 and is very unique but I don't have that much for a keyboard. Thanks for any suggestions, right now I'm using a keyboard that literally cost me 6 dollars + sh.

-Robert

More about : keyboard touch typing

Anonymous
August 24, 2009 6:50:51 AM

Hi--I work as a medical transcriptionist and have done so for the past 35+ years, typing intensively for 8-10 hours per day, every day. My favorite keyboard is the Unicomp buckling spring keyboard. It costs about $65 and is great--a nice firm touch, with a great clickety-clack sound. I think it is called the Customizer or something like that. It is the old IBM keyboard that used to be on all PCs. Just go to the Unicomp website. THey also have a quieter keyboard, but I much prefer the clickety-clack one. Everybody in my transcription office has used my keyboard and all like it, except some don't like the noise. Everybody loves the touch, which is firm and distinct. I have never had a problem with carpal tunnel problems in all the 35+ years I've done this work, and I don't know if it's the keyboard or not, but who can tell--it just may be. This is a very firm touch and you have to have nice strong fingers and hands to use it successfully. My sons are both gamers and they love it too, so that might tell you something right there. They are 10 and 14 years of age and have both been on computers since infancy--they have their own way of typing that has nothing to do with QWERTY or anything else as far as I can tell, but they still love this keyboard. They say the keys feel good, and they are easy to use, and very few misstrokes where you aim for one key and hit another one instead. Try it. You might find it is just the ticket.

TranscriptionDiva
August 24, 2009 11:39:16 PM

Greetings!

We have a few Mechanical Switch keyboards that sounds like they would be perfect for you.

This one is a Cherry Mechanical Switch keyboard that types very well and has a great feel. http://www.notestation.com/compactcherryswitchmackeyboa...

We also have another Mechanical Switch by Alps that you can see here. http://www.notestation.com/fullsizealpsmechanicalswitch...

Let me know if you have another other questions that I can help out with. Thanks, and have a good one!
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May 12, 2010 3:38:26 PM

Hi! It's nice to meet an experienced typist!
My question is off-topic but I don't know how else I can write you.
What is the typing rhythm? Do you have one?
I'm learning the touch typing and I've read a lot how it's important to have a rhythm when you type. But I couldn’t find more or less detailed explanation of the rhythm. Is it a mental song? I often have to pause to think what button to press. I think the rhythm is impossible in my case.
Anonymous
June 15, 2010 1:47:57 PM

The bottom line: The perfect keyboard does not exist--YET.

Having said that, hands down, the best keyboard ever made for a typist was the "NBM The Right Touch!". Unfortunately, it been out of production for many years. It is a mechanical keyboard that has a shorter stroke and requires less pressure than the IBM mechanical keyboards, and with a very pleasing click that won't annoy your neighbors. You will be lucky to find one--maybe on eBay. I have two of them.

The best thing about the NMB Keyboard other than its perfect touch -- MANUFACTURERS, ARE YOU LISTENING??? -- is the split-spacebar which allows either the left or right spacebar key (via mechanical switches on the back of the keyboard) to be configured as a backspace key. I will bet my house that 90% of the right-hand carpal tunnel problems out there are--at least in part--due to the traditional location of the backspace key which requires quite a contortion of you hand to reach. I've had painful carpal tunnel symptoms prior to the NMB keyboard which went away shortly after using it due to the ease in typing, and location of the backspace key.

The worst thing about the NMB keyboard is that it does not have USB support. I have yet to find a USB adapter that does not fumble the key codes. There is nothing worse than the CTRL key state being stuck in the down position and then you hit the combination that causes an unfinished email to be sent, or a file to be overwritten.

In my opinion, the 2nd best typist keyboard--but still FAR FAR behind the NMB--is the Saitek Eclipse II. I'm using this keyboard daily due to the USB issue of the NMB, but still completely missing the beautiful feel of my NMB keyboard. So, there is a HUGE gap between the best feeling keyboard and the 2nd best.

The bottom line is that the "dream" keyboard does not exist--not even close. For something that I use 8 to 12 hours a day, I and many others would gladly pay $100 to even $500 (depending on feature set) if it was perfect. So why don't manufacturers make one? Because mechanical keyboards are expensive to make. Why have others failed to succeed in selling an expensive keyboard? Because they focused on features that typists don't use instead of getting the feel of the keyboard just right. So far, nobody has been able to produce a membrane keyboard that doesn't feel like mush.

An expensive keyboard should be solid and have a high-end feel to it like the NMB or even better--not like a flimsy, plastic toy. There should be some mag-alloy in the frame and maybe a metal exterior housing with a nice chrome-plated finish on the outside.

So at no extra charge, here are the ingredients of the "dream" keyboard:

* Light, mechanical keys with the exact tactile feel of the NMB The Right Touch! keyboard, but with a version that has even shorter stroke for super speed typing. It must be impossible to mis-stroke by tapping the edge of the key. In other words, the resistance should be equal across the full surface of the key.

* Split space bar key with the option of either the left or the right being the backspace key.

* Backslash key just above the Enter key as in the Eclipse II. In fact, the same overall layout as the Eclipse II.

* Maintain the traditional, and larger, backspace key as in the Eclipse II for those who prefer a full spacebar.

* Removable key caps (that won't break when you remove them) for cleaning.

* Solid construction with a high-end feel (think Lexus). The chassis should not deflect under pressure.

* Long key life like the NMB.

* USB Support with an optional wireless version of the keyboard.

* The ability to configure the numeric keypad as a custom keypad--ideally with OLED key caps that can be customized for each application. The driver for this should be able to detect the application that is in focus and change the custom keys automatically. There should be an SDK that allows custom functions to be called rather than just using keyboard macros. This could unlock features of an application that don't have keyboard shortcuts. As a software engineer with an extensive background in drivers and low-level programming, I can assure you this is not a problem to develop. Yes, I know there is an OLED keyboard manufacturer out there with prices in the stratosphere, but I'm told the tactile feel sucks.

* Drum roll please... a Thinkpad-style Trackpoint mouse nub. WOW, then I don't even have to take my hands off the keyboard for standard point-and-click stuff.

If I had the cash to manufacture and market this keyboard, I would not hesitate.

To discuss this further, please email me at perfectkeyboard at spamex dot com.

Nick
September 26, 2011 12:59:21 AM

Did you design the Eclipse Litetouch? It sounds like you did.
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